Posts tagged with "voters"

Kael Felix illustrates Joe Biden for 360 Magazine

BIDEN WINS

By Payton Saso

THE OVERWHELMING UNCERTAINTIES

As four years of uncertainty may be coming to a close, there is not the expected sigh of relief we could hope for. As election day takes way, it is hard to ignore all the uncertainties that still loom over America. 

The nation we are living in is something many young voters have not seen before. As big cities board up businesses in preparation for the salient threat of riots and protests following election results, COVID-19 cases are on the rise and the fear amongst Americans is palpable.

Reuters analysis of state and county reports showed that COVID cases have risen 18% and deaths have risen 3%. While 3% may not seem exponential, “Nationally, nearly 5,800 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Nov. 1,” they reported.

The election follows the week in which Amy Coney Barrett [ACB] was confirmed to serve her life-long term on the Supreme Court, making some voters even more concerned regarding the outcome of the election and the fate of their human rights.

In its first hearing since ACB was confirmed, the Court will start its hearings in a case regarding the Catholic Social Services in Pennsylvania. The case follows the suing of the City of Philadelphia by the CSS for not allowing children to be placed in foster care with organizations like the CSS who exclude same-sex couples from being fosters, according to the local news stations NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Originally facing the Supreme Court’s docket when the late Justice Ginsburg still served, the new outcome of the case is truly up in the air. With the addition of ACB, who is conservatively Catholic, it is unclear whether she will side with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in their claims that their First Amendment rights are being violated. 

It is clear that how ACB votes on this case, will set the precedent for her term and quite frankly how she will vote if President Trump objects to the outcome of the election. 

Which is an evident possibility, seeing that the G.O.P. in Texas has already attempted to get 127,000 votes from Harris County. The county, which is largely Democratic, instilled drive-through ballot drop locations throughout by Harris County clerk, Chris Hollins, the New York Times stated.

Though the case was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court, those in the lawsuit claimed that the locations were illegal and favored Democrats. However, it seems that this is a tactic of voter suppression in hopes to throw out Democratic votes. 

Similarly in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court ruled last month to reject “Republican request for a stay on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that would allow ballots to be counted up to three days after Election Day,” Politico reported.

This attempted block is another attempt to threaten the validity of mail-in votes to which President Trump has been very vocal about opposing. The use of these absentee ballots; however, are just to yield some relief on the growing pandemic numbers to ease traffic at the polls today.

As of 12:17 EST, the US Elections Project gathered data that 100,611,070 Americans have voted early. With a mass number of votes already cast, it is clear this election will be historical in every way.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN WON’T STOP

Regularly dressed to the nines with his signature Aviator sunglasses, Biden has had to add another signature accessory to this fit, a mask. But that hasn’t stopped him from emanating the vibe of the cool Uncle Joe. His recent Twitter post for one of his campaign videos shows that.

Using the iconic Eminem song “Lose Yourself” from the “Eight Mile” soundtrack, the black and white video was Tweeted alongside the words by Biden, “ We have one shot. One Opportunity. One moment. Don’t miss the chance — vote.”

Appealing to those of all ages, “Lose Yourself” has become a song of triumph relished by sports teams, boxers and just the average joe in need of a confidence boots. The Grammy Award winning song was licensed to the Biden-Harris campaign which, Variety says, is a song rarely allowed by Eminem to be used.

It is no surprise that Eminem is one of the celebrities endorsing the Biden-Harris ticket. In 2017, he rapped a freestyle for the BET Awards that tore into Trump as president and as a human. He then released an album entitled “Revival” that year in which he continued to criticize Trump more. His song “Framed” on the track led the Secret Service to investigate the rapper.

While the Secret Service would not confirm this, “documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed that they did,” Rolling Stone claimed.

However, “One Shot,” regardless of the artist’s own personal hits at the President, encompasses the feeling of the American people in this time. The video depicts everyday people, our essential workers, nurses, doctors, those waiting in the long lines of the polls, and every other demographic Biden says he will work for. 

The power and importance of this election reigns true with the words ‘we only got one shot’ to make a promising change in America.

TRUMP PROMOTES THE AMERICAN DREAM

With the final push for votes occurring, both candidates are Tweeting out new campaign videos in hopes to still appeal to undecided voters.

President Trump Tweeted today a video that appeals to the masses who are patriotic and believe American is the greatest country. Playing to the idea of the American Dream, which he has made a prominent stance on, the video shows masses of Americans rallying together waving Trump flags and signs.

The images of American Flag sliced into images of the Armed Forces cheering and standing at attention, are overlaid with the words of President Trump. “America is the place where anything can happen. America is the place anyone can rise,” Trump asserts. 

The immensely patriotic video comes the day after President Trump announced his American Dream Plan. “President Trump recently released the American Dream Plan to reaffirm his commitment to fight for Hispanic prosperity and opportunity for all to achieve the American Dream,” The White House announced.

This final appeal to voters goes along with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” where he says he will create a country completely independent of China, create job opportunities and create an environment where the American Dream can be accomplished. 

This video is in contrast to his opponent’s, Joe Biden, recent campaign video by using B-roll and music that is simple and might appeal to older voters, while Biden’s campaign used music and video editing that might appeal better to younger voters. 

Regardless of who the candidates are trying to appeal to, hopefully these campaign videos help some undecided voters to choose who they believe is best for our country.

ELECTION PREDICTIONS

The results of this election are being awaited anxiously by Americans everywhere. Because of so many people using mail-in ballots, the final results may take longer than usual to be confirmed. Many predictions have been made about who the winner may be.

Primary Model predicts that Trump will take the win and gives him a 91% chance of doing so. They predict Trump will get 362 electoral votes while Biden will only get 176. Since Primary Model was created in 1996, they have correctly predicted all but one presidential election.

It is predicted that voter turnout will surge this year. “The intensity of the electorate is without recent precedent,” Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political-data firm, said in The Atlantic. It was predicted last year that 150 million Americans would vote this fall.

A historian and professor at American University, Allan Litchman, has predicted every presidential election correctly since 1984. Litchman explained on Fox News his prediction model called “The 13 Keys to the White House.” He explained Trump was in the lead to win until the coronavirus pandemic hit America.

“My prediction is that Donald Trump will become the first sitting president since George H. W. Bush in 1992 to lose a reelection bid, and Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States,” said Litchman.

Henry Olson also gave his prediction in The Washington Post. He predicted that Biden would win the popular vote with 52.5% of votes. He believes Biden will conclude with 350 electoral college votes while Trump will conclude with only 188.

AFTER ELECTION NIGHT

It is no surprise that results for this election are taking longer to finalize. With more early and mail-in votes due to the pandemic, some states are still counting ballots on November 4.

As of 3 pm on November 4, Biden is in the lead with 237 electoral college votes compared to the 213 Trump has. Six states are still undecided including Alaska, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Michigan and Nevada are currently leaning blue while the other remaining states lean red.

President Donald Trump seems dissatisfied with the fact that ballots are still being counted. “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” tweeted Trump at 12:49 am on November 4.

He also tweeted, “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” The Trump campaign has also filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting in Michigan.

Candidate Joe Biden has been more positive on his Twitter account. At 1:03 am on November 4 he tweeted, “We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election.”

THE WAIT FOR A WINNER

As of Friday morning, Biden has taken over Georgia and Pennsylvania. Georgia is 99% reporting and Biden is winning with just over 1,000 votes. Pennsylvania is 98% reporting and Biden has a slightly greater advantage than in Georgia.

The last time a Democrat won Georgia was almost 30 years ago when Bill Clinton won over his opponent George H.W. Bush in 1992. Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has already announced there would be a recount due to the small margin.

Nevada is at 84% reporting and Biden remains in the lead. Trump is leading in North Carolina and Alaska.

The Trump campaign continues to protest the results. They plan to sue in Nevada and claim that votes are being counted for people that have moved or died. According to Daily Mail, Trump plans to sue every battleground state that Biden has won.

This election is being compared to the 2000 election where George W. Bush and Al Gore had an incredibly tight race. This election lead to the supreme court decision to stop the recount known as Bush v. Gore. Bush ended up winning Florida by only 537 votes. In 2000 the winner wasn’t determined until December 12th and Americans everywhere are strapping in for what could be another long battle for the election results.

Joe Biden has passed 270 votes as of Saturday morning. Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris posted on her Twitter in celebration.

To keep up with the most recent election results click here.

Free live election coverage can be watched through The Roku Channel

Track election results here

Election illustration for 360 magazine

Pornhub Launches Voting Campaign

Pornhub, the premier online destination for adult entertainment, has announced its “Give A F**k, Get A F**k,” campaign to encourage American users to vote. On Election Day, Pornhub will be reserved only for those who have voted in the United States. 

“Roughly 43 percent of eligible voters – equal to 100 million people didn’t vote in the 2016 U.S Presidential Election, according to turnout estimates from the U.S. Elections Project. We want to encourage people to do their civic duty this year by casting their ballot and having their voice heard,” said Corey Price, Vice President, Pornhub.

Leading up to the campaign officially launching on Nov. 3, Pornhub will be running a social campaign with an assortment of high-profile models. This includes Pornhub Brand Ambassador Asa Akira, Domino Presley, Natassia Dreams, Janice Griffith, Lance Hart, Soverign Syre and Lotus Laine. They are posting videos encouraging people to get out and vote and also teasing them that “if they don’t give a f***, they don’t get a f**k.” 

When the campaign officially kicks off on Nov. 3, Pornhub users in the United States will be greeted by an overlay page which will appear over the Pornhub website from 10 a.m. EST to 9 p.m. EST reminding them to vote before entering the site that day. 

Of course, nothing can actually be done to prevent Americans from watching porn since there is no way for citizens to provide pornhub with any proof they voted. However, the campaign is clever and a helpful reminder to users that their voice matters. 

Pornhub tweeted about the campaign on its official Twitter account. “Election Day is around the corner and we’re here to make sure you give a F**K! So on Nov.3, only those who give a F**K will get a F**K on Pornhub!” the tweet read. The video attached to the tweet has over 45 thousand views.

Pornhub’s “Give A F**k, Get A F**k” campaign is a collaboration with Just For Fun, a creative agency. “In 2016, over 100 million eligible voters had zero f**ks to give about the election. This year, to encourage everyone to get off the couch and head to the polling places, we knew we needed to hit them where it hurts – their pants,” said a spokesperson for Just For Fun.

The two companies are working together to promote voting for the 2020 election. Some people have even said is one of the most important elections so far in their lifetime. Their goal is to get as many eligible voters to vote as possible.

Oprah Winfrey Virtual Town Halls

Oprah Winfrey announced plans Monday to host virtual town halls in states that look to play a large role in the upcoming election.

As part of OWN’s OWN YOUR VOTE get-out-the-vote initiative, the town halls will be a non-partisan effort to encourage, inspire and support voters across the country before Nov. 3.

The events are free and open to the public, and you can register in advance by clicking right here.

She will host an event for voters in Wisconsin Oct. 26, voters in North Carolina Oct. 27, voters in Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Pennsylvania Oct. 28 and voters in South Carolina Oct. 29. All of the town halls will begin at 8 p.m. ET.

Winfrey will speak with local voters in an effort to acquire adequate resources, information and inspiration to create a more informed voting base. Local voters, national thought leaders, voting rights experts and others who can provide insight and resources to voters will join her.

Speakers at the town halls include Brittany Packnett Cunningham, Representative Gwen Moore, Kristen Clarke, Vi Lyles, Kamilia Landrum, Andrea Hailey, Tameika Isaac Devine, Arisha Hatch, Tamika D. Mallory and Sherrilyn Ifill.

Representatives from women’s organizations will also attend, like Dr. Glenda Glover, Beverly E. Smith, Melanie Campbell, Glynda Carr, Dr. Johnnetta Betsch Cole, Dr. Kimberly Leonard, Rasheeda S. Liberty and Valerie Hollingsworth Baker.

For this event, OWN YOUR VOTE has partnered with the following organizations: 

Advancement Project National Office

Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated

AME Church Social Action Commission

Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated

Fair Fight Action

Higher Heights Leadership Fund

Joseph and Evelyn Lowery Institute for Justice and Human Rights

The Kapor Center

The King Center (Martin Luther King, Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change, Inc.)

Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law

The Links, Incorporated

National Association for the Advancement of Colored People

NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF)

National Council of Negro Women

National Urban League

Power Rising

Power to the Polls

Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated

Sistahs in Business Expo

Vote Run Lead

Vote.org

VoteAsIf.org

When We All Vote

Woke Vote

Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Incorporated

You can also learn more about OWN YOUR VOTE by clicking right here.

California Ranks 3rd in Nation for Clean Energy Jobs

Clean energy jobs paid 25% more than the national median wage in 2019 and were more likely to include health care and retirement benefits, according to a first-of-its-kind analysis of federal occupational wage and benefits data prepared for E2 (Environmental Entrepreneurs), the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), and the Clean Energy Leadership Institute (CELI) by BW Research Partnership.

The Clean Jobs, Better Jobs report is the first comprehensive analysis of wages and benefits across the clean energy sector. According to the report, workers in renewable energy, energy efficiency, grid modernization and storage, clean fuels and clean vehicles earned a median hourly wage of $23.89 in 2019 compared with the national median wage of $19.14. In addition, jobs in many clean energy sectors are more likely to be unionized and come with health care and retirement benefits than the rest of the private sector, the analysis shows.

Clean Jobs, Better Jobs comes amid the growing national dialogue around clean energy as federal and state leaders look for ways to restart the economy. The findings underscore the opportunity to advance smart clean energy policies that create higher-wage opportunities putting Americans back to work quickly rebuilding a cleaner, more resilient and more equitable economy. The report also provides detailed wage, benefit, education and demographic data for 15 specific clean energy occupations, and how they compare with similar jobs in other industries outside of clean energy.

Overall, median wages in clean energy are significantly higher than median wages in sectors such as retail, services, recreation and accommodations, especially when it comes to entry-level wages. Solar energy workers earn $24.48 an hour, while wind and grid modernization jobs pay on average more than $25 an hour. Energy efficiency – the largest employer in the nation’s energy sector – supports a median hourly wage of $24.44, about 28% above the national median.

Many clean energy jobs also paid better than fossil fuel jobs. Jobs in coal, natural gas and petroleum fuels paid $24.37 an hour, while solar and wind jobs combined for a $24.85 median hourly wage. Clean energy industries also employed about three times more workers than fossil fuels did in 2019, and, unlike fossil fuel jobs, clean energy jobs are available in every state, regardless of geology or geography.

Before COVID-19, clean energy had been one of the nation’s fastest-growing sectors. At the end of 2019, clean energy employed nearly 3.4 million workers across 99% of U.S. counties, according to E2’s Clean Jobs America report.

Bob Keefe, Executive Director at E2, said:

“This is just one more indication that focusing on clean energy is the smart thing to do as lawmakers look to rebuild our economy and get Americans back to work.

“These jobs pay better, come with better benefits – and they’re also helping fight climate change and the growing economic costs that come with it. We need policies that ensure these good-paying jobs continue to grow and are available to every American in every state.”

Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE), said:

“More renewable energy means more high-quality jobs with good pay and better benefits for more Americans. Investing in these jobs is both smart for the economy and essential for the climate. With the right policies in place, the renewable industry can put people to work powering our nation’s economic recovery – as it did in 2009 – and play a critical role in achieving the greenhouse gas emissions reductions scientists say are necessary to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”

Becca Ward, Acting Executive Director of CELI, said:

“Emerging leaders know the future of energy is clean energy. This report illustrates that clean energy careers are already a critical part of the economy and the recovery from COVID-19. Now the essential work is to ensure that in the greater energy transition, these benefits and opportunities are centered in equity and the frontline communities most impacted by climate change, COVID-19, and ongoing racial injustices.”

Phil Jordan, Vice President and Principal at BW Research Partnership, said:

“The U.S. economy has shed millions of jobs since the onset of COVID-19. Clean energy investments can create new opportunities for these displaced workers, in jobs that pay more and are more likely to include benefits than the average jobs lost during the pandemic.”

State Findings

Clean energy industries in six states paid wages at least 20% higher than the statewide median, led by California (29.2%), Texas (27.6%) and Louisiana (24.9%). Six states plus the District of Columbia (D.C.) had median hourly wages above $25 an hour in clean energy, led by Massachusetts ($29.80), D.C. ($27.60) and California ($27.50).

Other Report Findings

  • The unionization rate across all clean energy occupations (9%) was slightly higher than the national private-sector average (6%)
  • Common occupations – such as electrician, construction laborer, and welder – typically pay a premium when they’re involved in clean energy industries. Electricians who work in clean energy, for instance, make a median $29.64 per hour – about $2.60 more per hour than electricians overall.
  • Wage premiums for clean energy occupations are highest for entry-level positions.

For expanded findings, including detailed profiles on 15 specific clean energy occupations, download the full report here.

Zoom Where It Happens

KEKE PALMER, WANDA SYKES, LORETTA DEVINE, LATANYA RICHARDSON-JACKSON,JACKEE HARRY AND BLAIR UNDERWOODTO BE FEATURED IN EPISODE 3“ZOOM WHERE IT HAPPENS”TONIGHT, OCTOBER 6 AT 6PM PST / 9PM EST SERIES DESIGNED TO IGNITE VOTER AWARENESS, PROTECTION AND TURNOUT

More Than 100,000 Registered to Watch the Series Since Its September 8th PremiereNew Episodes to Stream on Zoom Up to Election Day 2020 To Mobilize Voters

Tonight at 6:00 p.m. PST/ 9:00 p.m. EST, actors Keke Palmer, Wanda Sykes, Loretta Devine, Latanya Richardson-Jackson and Blair Underwood will appear in episode three of “Zoom Where It Happens,” the live table read series presented by Black women artists to raise awareness, intention and activation around voting rights. In partnership with Zoom, the third table read in the series will re-enact the iconic sitcom “227” and will be directed by Christine Swanson, produced by Emmy nominee Stephanie Allain and hosted by original “227” co-star Jackée Harry.

For the third installment of “Zoom Where It Happens,” Palmer will play Sandra, Sykes will portray Pearl, Richardson will portray Mary, Devine will assume the role of Rose Lee, and Underwood will appear as multiple male characters. The production team of this series also includes Richardson-Jackson, Ryan Bathe, Aisha Hinds, Cynthia Erivo, Tessa Thompson, Kerry Washington, Rashida Jones, Stefanie and Quentin James, Channing Dungey, Karen Richardson, Issa Rae and Ava DuVernay.

“Zoom Where It Happen” launched on September 8 with an episode of “Golden Girls” that attracted more than 100,000 RSVPs. The series returned on September 22 with a re-imagining of “Friends,” which included a livestream to Youtube once Zoom reached its registration capacity. It will continue with a rotating cast of actors up to Election Day 2020.

In addition to offering an evening of culture and live entertainment, “Zoom Where It Happens” aims to catalyze voters and amplify the fight for voting rights and electoral justice. To gain access to the free show, viewers register with their mobile numbers and sign up to receive ongoing election information from various social impact organizations. This week’s performance will connect viewers to PushBlack, the nation’s largest nonprofit media group for Black Americans. All episodes are live one-time only events, produced and performed on a volunteer basis.

Registration is open now here.

Follow the official hashtag #ZoomWhereItHappens for updates on tonight’s show and future “Zoom Where It Happens” episodes.

Survey Of Registered Voters

This survey is conducted by researchers in the Department of Government at Harvard University and is part of non-partisan academic research. Your answers will help us to better understand what voters think about current issues.

Participation is voluntary and your personal information will not be shared with anyone. Your email was obtained from publicly available lists of registered voters in your state.

Completing the survey takes less than 10 minutes. Follow this link to the Survey.

This research is led by Ryan Enos and Jacob Brown of Harvard

Mina Tocalini, 360 Magazine, Mail-in Ballots

Rice University × VotingWorks

Rice University researchers are teaming with nonprofit VotingWorks to validate and improve open-source technology for voting by mail, work that will give local elections officials an important option if they’re flooded with applications from voters asking to cast mail ballots in November due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is funded by a National Science Foundation Rapid Research Response (RAPID) grant that will allow Rice’s team to collect thousands of hand-marked ballots through the mail to field test VotingWorks’ Vote-by-Mail. VotingWorks, the only nonprofit supplier of voting machines and systems, is developing its system as a turnkey offering that local elections officials can quickly adopt to carry out all aspects of voting by mail, including ballot preparation and mailing, collection, signature verification and tabulation.

Rice’s team includes Claudia Ziegler Acemyan, Michael Byrne, Philip Kortum, Robert Stein, Elizabeth Vann and Dan Wallach. The same group was awarded one of the first grants from Rice’s COVID-19 Research Fund in April to survey Harris County voters and poll workers about how likely they are to cast ballots or volunteer for work at polling locations during the pandemic. Harris County elections officials are using the group’s results as they design and evaluate changes to in-person voting for November.

“We want to kick the tires really hard on VotingWorks’ vote-by-mail system to make sure we find any problems well before November,” said Wallach, a professor of computer science, e-voting expert and co-principal investigator on the RAPID grant.

Wallach is on sabbatical from Rice and spending a year working with VotingWorks. Acemyan, Byrne and Kortum are faculty members in Rice’s Department of Psychological Sciences. Stein is Rice’s Lena Gohlman Fox Professor of Political Science, and Vann is the director of programs and partnerships at Rice’s Center for Civic Leadership.

Wallach said the federally funded research will help protect the safety of voters while ensuring a good turnout in November. And because VotingWorks uses off-the-shelf printers, scanners and other equipment, Wallach said it also has the potential to significantly reduce costs for conducting vote-by-mail elections, which could be important given the tight budgets of local elections administrators. 

“Many jurisdictions around the country don’t have the infrastructure they will need to respond to unprecedented demand for vote-by-mail,” said Ben Adida, executive director of VotingWorks and co-principal investigator on the grant. “Rice’s team has an incredible depth of expertise in areas ranging from voter attitudes and behaviors to voting security and voter interactions with technology, the human factors side of technology research. Rice’s help will be invaluable in making sure Vote-by-Mail is ready for the fall.”

Wallach said the project will enroll thousands of volunteers, and Rice undergraduates from the Center for Civic Leadership will play an instrumental role in administering and managing study volunteers. Volunteers will print their own test ballots, fill them out and mail them in. Returned ballots will be used to test VotingWorks ballot-reading hardware and software, and they’ll be useful in other ways as well.

“Having ballots that have been generated and handled by real voters, making their own unique marks, and then returned through the U.S. Postal Service will yield important data that can improve the design of the overall system,” Wallach said. 

The ballots will allow the team to probe a range of questions to evaluate the overall system and see how it compares to other voting technologies. Questions they hope to explore include: Did voters fill out the ballot according to the instructions? Were voters able to accurately vote the slate they were given? Did voters leave some options blank? Did voters accurately follow instructions to sign and return ballots within the specified time period? 

Wallach said the federal grant will allow the team to collect enough test ballots to identify potential problems that smaller scale tests might miss. 

“Scale is important because you need a large number of sample ballots to identify low-probability problems, like ballots getting damaged in the mail,” he said. “That probably won’t happen very often, but if millions of ballots are collected by mail, we want to do a large enough test to see how often it happens and how to best address it.”

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Covid and health illustration

PFCD × Antimicrobial Resistance

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) today announced a new initiative to advance awareness on the growing problem of antimicrobial resistance (AMR, aka “superbugs”) and to drive action for policy changes to address the threat AMR poses to our health.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 2.8 million drug-resistant infections occur in the U.S. each year and more than 35,000 people die as a result. The COVID-19 crisis has increased public awareness on the importance of having the right treatments available to treat public health crises as they arise. The threat of AMR looms large as an existing and growing public health need.

In addition to educating and drawing attention to AMR as a pressing public health issue, the Partnership to Fight Infectious Disease (PFID) will:

* Advocate for policy changes to encourage research and development of new treatments and therapies for infectious diseases, * Motivate broad change in the way antimicrobial treatments (e.g. antibiotics, antifungals) are developed, distributed, and consumed, and * Reinforce awareness about the value of antimicrobial treatments, the impact to the practice of modern medicine, and the threat to individual health.

“The launch of PFID is an extension of PFCD’s work for over a decade to advance a vision for a healthier future. The significant impact of the current COVID-19 pandemic on the millions of Americans living with one or more chronic conditions is a long-overdue wake-up call that demands an answer,” stated PFCD Chairman Ken Thorpe. “PFCD stands committed to our goals of addressing the burden of chronic disease, motivating calls for change, and challenging policymakers to create sustainable progress for both chronic and infectious disease threats that exact a heavy human and economic toll in America.”

According to a recent national poll of 1,000 likely voters, there is considerable urgency around and support of policy changes on issues related to AMR.

“The level of concern voters have about antimicrobial resistance is intense and remarkably consistent across the country,” said Celinda Lake, President of Lake Research Partners. “They want this issue to be a high priority for policymakers.”

When presented with some background on AMR, 85 percent of respondents said they were very or somewhat concerned about the issue and 76 percent believe that the development of new antibiotics should be a top or high priority.

More than 50 percent of respondents strongly agree that the government, universities, and drug companies need to all work together to deal with antimicrobial resistance. The strongest predictor of concern for this issue is if a voter has been impacted by COVID-19.

Fifty-nine percent of those who have been seriously impacted by COVID-19 are much more likely to say they are very concerned about AMR, and are also more likely to feel the development of new antibiotics should be a top or high priority (87%) compared to those who haven’t been seriously impacted (64%).

Levels of concern were notably higher among people of color and older Americans, those most impacted by the current pandemic. Further, supporting a candidate who makes the development of new antibiotics a priority was a likelihood for many, and a strong majority believe investment in antibiotics is too low.

“Everyone needs antibiotics to work, whether you are living with chronic disease, are having a routine surgery or undergoing cancer treatment or dialysis. Antibiotics are the safety net of modern medicine, and every procedure becomes more dangerous if we lose them,” said Kevin Outterson, Executive Director of CARB-X, a global non-profit partnership that funds the early development of new antibiotics, vaccines, and rapid diagnostics urgently need to treat superbugs. “There are solutions. We need to invest in new antibiotics to address drug-resistant pathogens.”

While the causes for the existing shortfall are many, the PFID initiative will prioritize prevention and translate knowledge into action by stakeholders across the health care continuum – patients, providers, employers, policymakers, payers, pharmaceutical companies, and many others. In doing so, the end goal is to cultivate collaboration among both public and private stakeholders to expand education and awareness of the issues and related impact areas, and to encourage and support innovation and development of quality treatments and therapies that can address the health threats of today and protect patients at large into the future.

“Without effective antibiotics many of the advances of modern medicine are in jeopardy. We must curtail the overuse and misuse of antibiotics that is driving the development of resistance and invest in new antibiotics that can treat superbugs. IDSA welcomes the PFID partnership to help drive the policy changes we need,” stated Amanda Jezek, Senior Vice President, Public Policy and Government Relations, Infectious Diseases Society of America.

For more information about the PFID and efforts to address AMR throughout the U.S. and across the globe, click HERE.

The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business, and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.

Unemployment and Voter Turnout

The “angry voter hypothesis” is a popular narrative that many voters are driven to the polls by economic anxiety. But a new study shows that hundreds of thousands of Americans hit by the 2008 recession actually avoided participating in subsequent elections.

The same phenomenon could happen this November as the United States experiences historic levels of unemployment, said the study’s author, Ben McCartney, an assistant professor of finance at Purdue University and an expert in household finance and voter participation. With so much financial distress on their plate, voting could be the last thing on their minds. “My concern going forward is that this story is going to repeat itself,” he said.

McCartney found that a 10% decline in local home prices decreased the participation rate of an average mortgaged homeowner by 1.6%, amounting to 800,000 potential votes over the course of the 2010 and 2012 national elections. The effect was less intense for renters and particularly severe for homeowners with little to no equity in their homes. He estimated that financial distress from the economic downturn was to blame.

McCartney used North Carolina voter files, housing data and Zillow home values for his analysis. His findings were recently published online as an accepted manuscript in The Review of Financial Studies.

“It’s a case where the opportunity costs now of voting are very high for some people,” he said. “It’s relatively easy for people to say, ‘I’m not going to worry about it this cycle. How do I figure out if I’m registered to vote? Where’s my polling place? Who is running for the various offices? I’ve got too much stuff on my plate, the economy is collapsing and I’m trying not to foreclose. Maybe now I’m taking care of the kids myself instead of sending them to day care, maybe I’m working more hours or working overtime.’ That is the story that I find fits the data better than this angry voter hypothesis.”

Fortunately, home prices have remained stable during the recent economic downturn due to high demand and low housing stock. But Zillow estimates prices to drop by 2%-3% and rebound by next year.

Four of 10 states that held their primary elections on June 2 saw a decline in voter turnout compared with 2016, according to analytics website FiveThirtyEight.com. The expansion of mail-in voting could have contributed to higher turnout in the six other states, according to the report.

McCartney said that potential voters could be more concerned about recovering from closures, furloughs and layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic. “Households hit hard by this crisis are going to turn to credit cards and short-term loans,” he said. “Even if the economic ship is somewhat righted by November, a lot of households’ financial situations will have really deteriorated. And, for financially distressed households, voting is something easy to just drop from the to-do list. The implications for voter turnout are worrying.”

Ben McCartney (Courtesy photo)

McCartney is a faculty affiliate in the Purdue University Research Center in Economics. His research was supported by Purdue’s Krannert School of Management and Duke University.

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Kyrsten Sinema Wins Arizona’s U.S. Senate Seat

By Reid Urban

Arizona is finally getting its first female U.S. senator.

Democrat Krysten Sinema rode a wave of Maricopa County voters, as well as voters from her opponent Martha McSally’s congressional district in Tucson, to give her the edge and the eventual win for the Arizona U.S. Senate seat that was being vacated by Jeff Flake.

The Associated Press called the race for Sinema Monday night and McSally ceded, tweeting congratulations to Sinema.

Sinema will become the first woman in the state’s 106-year history to take a seat in the U.S. Senate.

So how did Sinema manage to win? She played towards the moderate Republican voters, the independent voters, and the suburban women, who were anxious about the polarizing politics in the era of President Donald Trump. That gave her the advantage in the urban areas of Arizona. It was too great for McSally to make up.

Sinema maintained that lead on Monday and grew even more with the latest batch of early ballots. With that, she defeated the Republicans’ hopes of maintaining the seat.